PRAIRIE DU CHIEN — After two-thirds of a season in which inconsistency has been its downfall, the Platteville football team has suddenly become quite consistent the past two weeks.
On Sept. 20, Platteville beat Richland Center by 43 points. On Friday, Platteville beat Prairie du Chien by 43 points, 50–7.
The wins keep the Hillmen (3–3, 2–3 Southwest Wisconsin Conference) on the playoff bubble in time for their final three games against teams that beat the Hillmen earlier this season — at Dodgeville Friday and then home games against Lancaster and River Valley the final two weeks.
Platteville needs to win two of those three games to finish with a .500 conference record. Teams with winning conference records are guaranteed playoff spots, but most teams with .500 conference records historically also get into the playoffs.
Platteville crushed Prairie du Chien on the ground, outrushing the Blackhawks 407–3.
That domination literally started with the game’s first play. The Blackhawks’ choice after winning the coin toss to defer receiving the kickoff until the second half backfired when running back William Cooley took the game’s first handoff at the Platteville 37 and wound his way through the entire Blackhawk defense for a 63-yard touchdown run.
The first of James Bailie’s six extra points gave Platteville a 7–0 lead 20 seconds into the game. Bailie hit all six of his extra points Friday, extending his extra-point streak to 24, dating back to the last extra-point attempt of the season-opening Darlington game.
Platteville followed a 63-yard touchdown run with a four-play 65-yard scoring drive, in which Cooley followed a 16-yard run by Jake Bernhardt, a 15-yard pass from quarterback Logan Butson to fullback Ryan Weber, and an 11-yard Weber run with a nine-yard touchdown run. The first five Platteville plays of the game resulted in first downs, including the two touchdowns.
A stuffed fourth-and-1 run led to Platteville’s next scoring drive. Cooley had a touchdown run wiped out by a Hillmen holding penalty, but that merely delayed, not denied, a touchdown. Logan Butson found Mitch Knockel for his second touchdown in as many games, on a fourth-and-five from the Prairie du Chien 10, to extend Platteville’s lead to 21–0 not even halfway into the first quarter.
The Hillmen then recovered the fumbled following kickoff, and Butson connected again with Knockel, followed by a two-point conversion pass to Weber, to extend Platteville’s lead to 29–0 with 4:55 left in the first quarter.
Cooley’s third touchdown of the half extended Platteville’s lead to 36–0 with 8:34 left in the first half. Butson then threw his third touchdown pass of the half, this time to Derek Schambow, to extend the Hillmen lead to 43–0 with 5:48 left in the half.
Prairie du Chien’s only score of the game came on a no-huddle hurry-up drive that crammed 14 plays into 2:36. Quarterback Brogan Potter threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Vince Weber with 3:06 left in the first half.
Platteville answered by going 58 yards in four plays, most of the yardage coming on Bernhardt’s 39-yard run, the score coming on Cooley’s fourth touchdown of the half.
Cooley had 205 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries. Bernhardt added 115 yards on nine carries. Butson was 5 of 9 for 72 yards and three touchdowns; he has seven touchdown passes in the past two games.
Platteville 50, Prairie du Chien 7
(from Friday, Sept. 27 @ Prairie du Chien)
Platteville 29 21 0 0 — 50
Prairie du Chien 0 7 0 0 — 7
P: William Cooley 63 run (James Bailie kick)
P: Cooley 9 run (Bailie kick)
P: Mitch Knockel 10 pass from Logan Butson (Bailie kick)
P: Knockel 15 pass from Butson (Ryan Weber pass from Butson
P: Cooley 5 run (Bailie kick)
P: Derek Schambow 15 pass from Butson (Bailie kick)
PdC: Hebel 13 pass from Potter (Stram kick)
P: Cooley 10 run (Bailie kick)
First downs — P 15, PdC 8. Rushing — P 38–407, PdC 12–3. Passing Yards — P 72, PdC 132. Passing — P 5-9-0, PdC 13-40-0. Fumbles–lost — P 2–2, PdC 1–1. Penalties–yards — P 6–45, PdC 13–113.
Rushing — P: William Cooley 15-205; PdC: Passing — P: Logan Butson 5-9-0, 72; PdC: Potter 13-40-0, 132. Receiving — P:Ryan Weber 2-32, Mitch Knockel 2-25; PdC: Rickleff 5-40.